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1. Shewed (efanerwsen). This rendering might easily convey merely the sense of appearing; but its meaning is much deeper. Occurring frequently in the New Testament, it is used most frequently of God and Christ, or of men in their relation to these. Thus, of Christ in person while upon earth (Mark xvi. 12, 14; John i. 31; ii. 11; 1 Pet. i. 20; 1 John i. 2). Of the works of Christ (John ii. 11; ix. 3; 1 John iii. 5). Of Christ in redemption (1 John iii. 5). Of Christ in His second coming (1 John ii. 28). Of Christ in glory (1 John iii. 2; Col. iii. 4). It is used of God. Of His revelation to men of the knowledge of Himself (Rom. i. 19). Of His manifestation in Christ (1 Tim. iii. 16). Of His righteousness (Rom. iii. 21). Of His love (1 John iv. 9). It is used of men. As epistles manifesting the character and spirit of Christ (2 Cor. iii. 3; v. 11). In the judgment (2 Corinthians v. 10). In all these cases the appearing is not merely an appeal to sense, but is addressed to spiritual perception, and contemplates a moral and spiritual effect. It is the setting forth of the law or will or character of God; of the person or work of Christ; of the character or deeds of men, with a view to the disclosure of their quality and to the producing of a moral impression. Rev., manifested.
Sea. See on Matt. iv. 18.
Of Tiberias. Not elsewhere in the Gospels. The Synoptists say, Sea of Galilee or Lake of Gennesaret.
That night. The emphatic pronoun that (ekeinh) may indicate that their ill success was unusual.
Caught (epiasan). So ver. 10. The verb means to lay hold of, and is nowhere else used in the New Testament of taking fish. Elsewhere in this Gospel always of the seizure of Christ by the authorities (vii. 30, 39, 44; viii. 20; x. 39; xi. 57). Of apprehending Peter and Paul (Acts xii. 4; 2 Corinthians xi. 32). Of the taking of the beast (Apoc. xix. 20). Of taking by the hand (Acts iii. 7).
4. Was come (genomenhv). The best texts read the present participle, ginomenhv, is coming. Rev., when day was now breaking. The A.V. does not agree so well with the fact that Jesus was not at once recognized by the disciples, owing in part, perhaps, to the imperfect light.
5. Children (paidia). Or, little children. Used also by John, in address, twice in the First Epistle (ii. 13, 18), where, however, the more common word is teknia, little children.
Have ye any meat (mh ti prosfagion ecete)? The interrogative mh ti indicates that a negative answer is expected: you have not, I suppose, anything. Prosfagion is equivalent to ojyarion, what is added to bread at a meal, especially fish. See on vi. 9. Only here in the New Testament. Wyc, any supping-thing. 55
7. Fisher's coat (ependuthn). An upper garment or blouse. Only here in the New Testament. In the Septuagint, 1 Sam. xviii. 4, the robe which Jonathan gave to David. 2 Sam. xiii. 18, the royal virgin garment of Tamar. The kindred verb, ejpenduomai, occurs twice (2 Cor. v. 2, 4), meaning "to be clothed upon," with the house which is from heaven, i.e., clothed as with an upper garment. See on that passage.
Naked. Not absolutely, but clothed merely in his undergarment or shirt.
8. A little ship (tw ploiariw). The noun is diminutive. Rev., the little boat. It is hardly probable that this refers to a smaller boat accompanying the vessel. Compare the alternation of ploion and ploiarion in vi. 17, 19, 21, 22, 24.
Two hundred cubits. A little over a hundred yards.
With fishes (twn icquwn). Or, the net of the fishes. So Wyc, Rev., full of fishes.
Fish (oyarion). See on vi. 9.
Ye hate caught (epiasate). See on ver. 3. Bengel says: "By the Lord's gift they had caught them: and yet, He courteously says, that they have caught them."
11. Went up. Into the vessel.
Great fishes. All authorities agree as to the abundance of fish in the Lake of Galilee. M. Lortet, cited by Dr. Thomson, says that two castings of the net usually filled his boat. Bethsaida (there were two places of that name on the lake) means House of the Fisheries. The fame of the lake in this particular reached back to very early times; so that, according to the Rabbinical legend, one of the ten fundamental laws laid down by Joshua on the division of the country was, that any one might fish with a hook in the Lake of Galilee, so that they did not interfere with the free passage of boats. The Talmud names certain kinds of fish which might be eaten without being cooked, and designates them as small fishes. So ojyaria is rendered in John vi. 9. Possibly the expression great fishes may imply a contrast with the small fishes which swarmed in the lake, and the salting and pickling of which was a special industry among its fishermen.
12. Dine (aristhsate). Rather, breakfast. In Attic Greek ariston signified the mid-day meal; the evening meal being known as deipnon. The regular hour for the ariston cannot be fixed with precision. The drift of authority among Greek writers seems to be in favor of noon. The meal described here, however, evidently took place at an earlier hour, and would seem to have answered more nearly to the ajkratisma, or breakfast of the Greeks, which was taken directly upon rising. Plutarch, however, expressly states that both names were applied to the morning meal, and says of Alexander, "He was accustomed to breakfast (hrista) at early dawn, sitting, and to sup (edeipnei) late in the evening." In Matthew xxii. 4, it is an ariston to which the king's wedding-guests are invited. Ask (exeta.sai). Rev., inquire. Implying careful and precise inquiry. It occurs only three times in the New Testament; of Herod's command to search diligently for the infant Christ (Matt. ii. 8), and of the apostles' inquiring out the worthy members of a household (Matt. x. 11).
Giveth them. Nothing is said of His partaking Himself. Compare Luke xxiv. 42, 43.
26. The appearance to Mary Magdalene is not counted, because the Evangelist expressly says to His disciples.
15. Simon, son of Jonas. Compare Christ's first address to Peter, i. 43. He never addresses him by the name of Peter, while that name is commonly used, either alone or with Simon, in the narrative of the Gospels, and in the Greek form Peter, not the Aramaic Cephas, which, on the other hand, is always employed by Paul. For Jonas read as Rev., John. Lovest (agapav). Jesus uses the more dignified, really the nobler, but, as it seems to Peter, in the ardor of his affection, the colder word for love. See on v. 20.
I love (filw). Peter substitutes the warmer, more affectionate word, and omits all comparison with his fellow-disciples.
Lambs (arnia). Diminutive: little lambs. Godet remarks: "There is a remarkable resemblance between the present situation and that of the two scenes in the previous life of Peter with which it is related. He had been called to the ministry by Jesus after a miraculous draught of fishes; it is after a similar draught that the ministry is restored to him. He had lost his office by a denial beside a fire of coal; it is beside a fire of coal that he recovers it."
16. Lovest (agapav). Again the colder word, but more than these is omitted.
I love (filw). Peter reiterates his former word expressive of personal affection.
17. Lovest (fileiv). Here Jesus adopts Peter's word. Canon Westcott, however, ascribes Peter's use of filew to his humility, and his hesitation in claiming that higher love which is implied in ajgapav. This seems to me to be less natural, and to be refining too much.
18. Young (newterov). Literally, younger. Peter was apparently of middle age. See Matt. viii. 14.
Thou girdedst thyself (ezwnnuev seauton). The word may have been suggested by Peter's girding his fisher's coat round him. The imperfect tense signifies something habitual. Thou wast wont to clothe thyself and to come and go at will.
Walkedst (periepateiv). Literally, walkedst about. Peculiarly appropriate to describe the free activity of vigorous manhood.
Whither thou wouldest not. According to tradition Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome, and was crucified with his head downward.
19. By what death (poiw). Properly, by what manner of death. So Rev. 20. Leaned (anepesen). Rev., leaned back. See on xiii. 25. The reference is to the special act of John, leaning back to whisper to Jesus, and not to his position at table.
21. And what shall this man do (outov de ti;)? Literally, and this one what?
22. Till I come (ewv ercomai). Rather, while I am coming. Compare ix. 4; xii. 35, 36; 1 Tim. iv. 13.
What is that to thee (ti prov se;)? Literally, what as concerns thee?
23. Should not die (ouk apoqnhskei). Literally, dieth not.
24, 25. Many interpreters think that these two verses were written by some other hand than John's. Some ascribe vv. 24 and 25 to two different writers. The entire chapter, though bearing unmistakable marks of John's authorship in its style and language, was probably composed subsequently to the completion of the Gospel.